Coffee has been a part of culture for over one thousand years. The history of coffee varies widely depending on which sources you use. This is especially true when something as powerful as coffee is involved, as coffee has brought much wealth and prosperity to individuals throughout history of coffee.
Coffee was discovered around 850 A.D. in part of Africa now known as Ethiopia. According to one story that has been passed down through generations, a sheep herder named Kaldi discovered coffee as he tended his sheep. He noted that his sheep became extremely active after eating red cherries from a plant as they went from one pasture to another.
He ate a few of cherries himself, and was soon as overactive as his herd. The story goes on to say that a monk passed by and scolded him for "partaking of devil's fruit." However, monks soon found themselves eating same fruit to help them stay awake for their prayers.
Originally, coffee plant grew naturally in Ethiopia. But once people of Arabia became enthralled with coffee and transplanted plants to Arabia, coffee was monopolized by them. Later, countries beyond Arabia whose inhabitants believed coffee to be a delicacy guarded its secret and with caution began to siphon off coffee plants from Arabia.
The Arabian government prohibited transportation of plant out of Moslem nations, so actual spread of coffee was started illegally.
In 17th century, Italian traders introduced coffee to West and changed history of coffee forever. Many Christians believed that coffee was drink of devil.
But in Italy, Pope Clement VIII drank and endorsed coffee against advice of his advisors who wanted it to be considered part of infidel threat. Because of his endorsement of coffee, it became acceptable as a Christian beverage and spread throughout West.
Coffee Houses began opening in mid-17th century in Western world. The first coffee house opened in Italy in 1645, in England in 1652, in Paris in 1672 and in Berlin in 1721.
In 1668, Edward Lloyd's coffee house opened in England and eventually became Lloyd's of London, best-known insurance company in world. By this time, coffee had replaced beer as New York's City's favorite breakfast beverage.